VOICE OF FREEDOM
Strategy type (tool, event, training course, etc.)
Scope of the practice (local, national, international level)
When did it start/end?
21 June - 8 July 2018
Name of the organization
Museo diffuso della Resistenza, della Deportazione, della Guerra, dei Diritti e della Libertà
City and country
1. Describe your project briefly
Ten Nigerian women who escaped slavery and the dramatic experience of human trafficking tell their stories through photography. Reversing the classic photographic narrative, Voice of Freedom puts the victims behind the camera, rather than in front of the lens, thus offering the opportunity to tell the experience of each one in person and with one's own sensitivity. An exhibition of the photos was hosted within the program "Fo.To – Fotografi a Torino" on the occasion of 20 June, World Refugee Day 2018.
2. What is the aim of the project?
The exhibition was the final product of "Voice of Freedom", a charity and a project working with people who escaped trafficking and torture. Project goal is to bring the voices of the enslaved to a wide public. It enables survivors to "document their lives, feelings and experiences through the camera lens, and supports them as they create texts in their own words to accompany the images". The Museum - which pays particular attention to human rights in its mission - and the Polo del '900 recognized in this exhibition an opportunity to work, once more - in the year dedicated to the reflection on racial laws and racism - on human rights, and migrant stories.
3. Who was involved in designing process?
Voice of Freedom is a project of participatory photography, a "tool for advocacy and social activism. Participants are supported as they create their own photographic work – a facilitator works with the group, teaching them to use a camera so they can define, communicate and improve their situation". The women are so involved in designing their own photographic works, and related narrative labels, and presenting them to the public. Leila Segal is the project founder and lead facilitator, Liz Orton the professional photographer and facilitator. The Museum welcomed the project with the utmost pleasure and invited a group of people with migratory background - group with whom it worked on racism issue - to visit the exhibition.
4. If you could change something, what would you change?
The audience was not very high in number. It would have been useful to extend the duration of the exhibition by a few weeks.
5. How do the project impact on civil society?
The images on display and the dramatic narratives that accompany them, in addition to striking for a profound and moving artistic value, represent a significant testimony on the theme of human trafficking. The result of this work was extraordinary both for the quality of the photos and for the re-elaboration process carried out by the women themselves. It was touching, and neither shocking not trivializing and for this reason able to speak to the public in an authentic, non-mediated, and non-stereotyped way. We cannot guess what the exhibition impact was in that specific event but the project as a whole - that continues today - has a fantastic role in giving women victims of trafficking a chance, an opportunity to express themselves.
6. How do you evaluate the project’s impact?
The impact of the project may seem limited because it involved a limited number of women. But actually, the involvement was profound and its power was expressed perfectly during the inauguration ceremony which was also attended by the women with intensity and a joyful will to express oneself through art and to participate.
7. Is there anything else would you like to share with us?
This project is a case study also on the website Migration Cities at this link.